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Collins Statement on Register of Copyrights Accountability Act

WASHINGTON—House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) have introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, which would replace the register of the U.S. Copyright Office with a director who would be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The Register of Copyrights position has been vacant since October of last year. Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, is co-sponsoring this bill and has issued the following statement in response to its introduction:

“The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 is a first step toward modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office and bringing much needed accountability to the Library of Congress. It has become increasingly clear that the Register of Copyrights needs greater autonomy from the Library of Congress in order to carry out its core mission. While Congress has been working toward that end, the Librarian of Congress has moved in a different direction by disregarding the qualifications set out in Title 17 of the U.S. Code in her efforts to fill the Register vacancy with her own candidate.

“As a result, it’s become necessary to take swift, bipartisan action to give the Copyright Office the tools it needs to function properly, including a new leadership structure. While this legislation will provide crucial independence for the Copyright Office, work remains to be done to update the office’s infrastructure and technology to allow it to serve creators and end-users with excellence. This bill signals the beginning, not the end, of the journey toward meaningful copyright reform, and I am eager to see the Judiciary Committee introduce and consider related legislative efforts in the very near future.”

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